Ronkonkoma is home to the second busiest Long Island Rail Road station outside of New York City as well as MacArthur Airport. These two critical components of the region’s transportation network provide the central Suffolk County hamlet the opportunity to become a focal point of a growing Long Island economy.
The completion of a third track on the Long Island Rail Road’s main line and a second track from Farmingdale to Ronkonkoma will also make it possible to support more homes, offices, retail, and entertainment in the area. Already, a new walkable, mixed-use community of 1,400 new homes and more than 500,000 square feet of commercial space has been approved by the town of Brookhaven. Planning is also underway by the town of Islip and Suffolk County, in consultation with the Ronkonkoma community, to expand this hub, improving connections to MacArthur Airport and other activity centers in the community.
The recommendations of the Fourth Regional Plan would enable Ronkonkoma to sustainably support this growth while improving local conditions for existing residents. Policies to promote the use of shared, on-demand vehicles to improve access to the Ronkonkoma station should be linked with efforts to transform station-area parking into mixed-use developments, community amenities, and park space. Affordable housing and fair housing policies should be emphasized to make Ronkonkoma work for everyone.